NHC schools classify cheerleading as a club, not a sport

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Middle school cheerleading is considered a club, rather than a sport in New Hanover County schools.

Because of this classification, middle school cheer coaches are paid a club advisor rate of $200, compared to athletic coaches who receive an annual stipend of over $1,000.

Some other school systems in the area, including Pender, Brunswick and Bladen counties all consider middle school level cheerleading a sport. The cheer coaches in those counties are compensated in the same way as other athletic coaches.

Cheerleaders at Trask Middle School and their parents believe the team should be classified as a sport so the coaches can get a higher pay for their time.

According to an email from a spokesperson for New Hanover County Schools:

"New Hanover County Schools provides pay for cheerleading coaches. Middle school cheer is considered a club activity and advisors are paid at the club advisor rate. High School cheerleading coaches are paid a coaching supplement. Cheerleading at the middle school level has only existed for the past few years. It is not required and operates as a voluntary program. Students are required to submit paperwork and meet the attendance/academics eligibility requirements for student-athletes. "

Editors note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated middle school cheer coaches in New Hanover County were not paid. The story has been updated to reflect those coaches are paid a club advisor rate.

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